The evil is inside, hypocrite!
Scripture reading for February 24th: Mark 7:1-23, Psalms 40:11-17, Proverbs 10:13-14
Jesus’ disciples were criticized by the Pharisee’s for eating without washing their hands, according to the traditions of the elders. The Pharisee’s told them that they were “unclean” because of this and defiled. They asked Jesus why His disciples were doing this and Jesus spoke clearly to them about their traditions that were violating the heart of God’s truth.
“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” (Mark 7:6-8)
Jesus proceeded to teach the crowd that had gathered that what goes into a man is not what defiles him, but what comes out of the inside that makes him unclean. (Mark 7:15) When someone eats something with unclean hands, that only goes into his stomach and then is eliminated from his body. Things from the outside don’t go into the heart but the stomach. In saying this Jesus was declaring all foods as clean. This was a radical departure from what the Pharisees understood from the Law! (Mark 7:19)
“He went on, “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, com evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'” (Mark 7:20-23)
Jesus spelled out what causes defilement. It was not food or failure to wash the hands. It was evil in the heart that came through the lips. Notice how many of God’s commandments are represented here with this list of evils. At least five are covered! Thinking and speaking evil defile a man and render him ‘unclean’ in God’s sight.
There is only one way to be free from this defilement and become clean inside. It is by repentance! We acknowledge the truth that these evil things within us are sin and breaking of God’s laws and that we have done it. We turn from doing those things towards God for mercy and help to escape these thoughts and actions. We use our mouth to ask for mercy and commit to truth! Try it today!